Minneapolis, MN – David Lough went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBI to lead the Kansas City Royals past the Minnesota Twins, 9-8, in the finale of a four-game set at Target Field.
Lough doubled three times as well and also had four runs scored. Johnny Giavotella had three hits and two RBI and Eric Hosmer added a solo homer for the Royals, who have won four of their last seven games.
Aaron Crow (5-3) earned the win after pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Royals starter Ervin Santana gave up four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and four walks over six frames.
"I didn't have my best stuff today," Santana admitted. "I did not have good command, but I made good pitches and gave my team a chance to win."
Greg Holland picked up his 17th save of the season despite giving up a solo homer to Trevor Plouffe in the ninth inning.
Clete Thomas and Justin Morneau each hit two-run homers and Oswaldo Arcia had two hits and drove in a run for the Twins, losers in four of their last six games.
Jared Burton (1-5) was pegged with the loss after giving up the go-ahead homer to Lough, who crushed a 1-0 cutter over the wall in right field to put the Royals ahead in the eighth.
Hosmer added his solo shot in the ninth to give Kansas City a 9-7 lead.
Plouffe crushed a solo homer to left-center to pull the Twins within one run, but Holland struck out the next three hitters to seal the win.
Minnesota trailed 7-4 entering the seventh. Ryan Doumit opened the team's half of the frame with an infield single before Morneau cracked a two-run shot to right field to pull the Twins within one. With two on and one out, Josh Willingham laced a pinch-hit ground-rule double to left field to bring Arcia around.
Parmelee doubled home Morneau in the second inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
Kansas City countered with a pair of runs in the third to take the lead. With runners at second and third, Giavotella ripped an infield single to score Lorenzo Cain. Alex Gordon followed with a sacrifice fly to score Lough.
The Royals added three more in the fourth. With two on and two out, Lough ripped a double to right field to plate both runners. Giavotella followed with single to center to bring Lough around.
"We gave the ballgame away pretty early," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "All those plays early where they're running around the bases and we're throwing to the wrong place and not being aware out there, end up costing us a ballgame."
Minnesota pushed three runs across in the fifth to pull within one run. Pedro Florimon singled before Thomas cracked a two-run homer, while Arcia singled home Doumit later in the frame to make it 5-4.
Alcides Escobar added a two-run single in the sixth to give the Royals a 7-4 edge.
Kansas City went 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position ... Santana was not charged with a loss in June. His last loss came on May 28 ... Minnesota starter Kevin Correia gave up five runs on seven hits over five innings in the setback ... Morneau's homer put him in sole possession of fifth place on the Twins all-time list with 208 ... Willingham needs one double to reach 200 for his career.